Capability is characterised by the ability of a person to make appropriate decisions, to solve problems, through the application and extension of their knowledge, skills and experience in an environment that is in a constant state of flux.
Think about that. Now ask yourself, how does Knowledge Management improve an organisation’s learning and knowledge capability? How does HR or IT achieve this? Has Knowledge Management ever even considered what it takes to help a person, group or organisation to learn-to-learn? How does KM and its inherent focus on technology really contribute to the development of learning organisations?
If you are interested in enhancing an organisation’s adaptive capability, in other words making it agile, then you have to be interested in people and what makes us tick. As I was reminded by Tom Graves last week, Toyama, in his “Greek Heresy,” said, “social progress depends on human changes that gadgets just can’t deliver.”
For too long Knowledge Management has sold toxic Kool-Aid; organisational knowledge and learning capability is about social progress and social change, but for too long Knowledge Management has attempted to create a fog-of-war (software sales) focused on gadgets (software).
Capability gives you a new narrative and the opportunity to reboot, rethink and get back in touch with the heart of the matter. After all, capability is all about people, people.